3 key developments for your marketing strategy: Identity, Intelligence and Interaction

How to learn and benefit from global on-line consumer platforms

We all heard it before, they are taking over the world: Google, Amazon and Facebook (the GAF platforms) have access to hundreds of millions of global consumers at any time and may make any product an overnight success via their massive online distribution channels: ad networks, mobile devices, app stores and more.

Have we all been left behind? Not so fast, Larry. Companies of any size can and should be working on a strategy to mimic the success of the GAF platforms. This is not as hard as it seems and the only requirement is that you should start it as soon as you end reading this article. There is no secret sauce or special skills to copy them, as long as we understand the fundamentals they are working on: identity, intelligence and interaction.

Let us start with identity: every time someone registers on any touch point from the GAF platforms, being it Gmail, any App Store, Kindle and of course Facebook, those platforms start a continuous loop of informed communication which is unique and customized for each person. Google displays ads based on your navigation and demographics and Facebook processes your likes and interests along with your age and location to do the same. Amazon famous recommendation system shoots an email about Mad Men as soon as you search for House of cards.

Identity is one of the key developments to relevant and effective communication because it overcomes mass media worst drawback, which is to bark at all people or just a roughly defined group based solely on demographics, not taking into consideration that there is a huge difference between fans of Start Wars and Mad Men.

So how do you start gathering identities? Make sure all your digital touch points (apps, landing pages, web sites etc) have a smooth registration procedure. Using Facebook login is our current recommendation because it allows requesting a stream of likes and interests that will help with the next key development.

Intelligence is a broad term so let us be more specific using our favorite example: Amazon. The company gathers information every time a consumer purchases an item or simply browses their site or opens an e-mail from them. Along the years Amazon built one of the best machine learning infrastructures around, processing millions of transactions daily to find out when and what customers want to buy. It has been so successful in building these systems that now they are selling it to anybody via their cloud services platform.

So how do you start with intelligence? Hire a data analysis guy or gal or a good consulting company to reuse what Amazon spent 20 years perfecting. You´ll be amazed by what you will learn about your consumers from the data you started gathering. Amazonify your brand!

Finally there is Interaction, the third key development which is actually much simpler once you have your identity & intelligence software set up. Informed interaction with users are for example when Google Now shows you how long it takes to get to the airport for your flight to Frankfurt. Or Facebook displays an ad about a new Sushi restaurant in your city, based on your like history. All you have to do to start interacting better is to use those features for your own communication. In practical terms, displaying identity-based ads is now available in Google, Facebook and Twitter. So if you segment your audience in terms of Star Wars and Mad Men fans, you can target a new PlayStation to the former and a Vegan Restaurant to the latter. Good and old email marketing has been also making a comeback. Ecommerce of all sizes but also other industries are rediscovering and reinventing this medium, sending relevant identity-based messages to sell more products, for branding or just for keeping in touch.

Identity, intelligence and interaction are key to any marketing strategy which aims at optimizing ROI. This can only come into realization with letting the old mass media practices go and embrace this brave new world of being relevant.

Good luck!